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Josef Ressel (1793–1857)

photo:  (wikipedia)

Josef Ressel, an inventor and a writer, was originally a forest engineer. He was born in 1793 in Chrudim and his family was Czech-German (father was a German native speaker, while his mother’s mother tongue was Czech). He graduated from a forestry academy but became famous as the inventor of the ship propeller.

Being fascinated by seas and ships, he was wondering how to give ships more power and speed. It was his idea to provide a ship’s steam machine with a screw that works in a similar way as a propeller so that its rotational motion would generate a force to drive the ship. Although others laughed at this idea, Ressel applied for a patent in 1826 in Austria, which he received a year later. However, his invention was not recognised before he died.  It was nine years after his death, in 1866, when the National Academy in Washington confirmed Ressel’s authorship of the invention of the screw-propeller. Josef Ressel died in 1857 in Ljubljana, where he is buried.

Besides the screw-propeller, Ressel invented a screw press-roller for wine and oil, a steam machine capable of leaching out dying agents and tans, a ball bearing without oiling and a pneumatic post.

His most important literary work is called the "Dějiny přímořských lesů" (The History of Coastal Forests). You can find more information here.
Author: Ivana Jenerálová
Source: Encyklopedie spisovatelu
Added: 15.06.2010

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